[WP] Two suicidal people happen to meet on the same bridge to jump. Rather than joining together, they each try to convince the other not to jump while justifying why they themselves should jump.

"Were I to jump this very moment, there'd be nobody to remember my name that would speak of me with fondness. I spent most of my life thinkin' people were fuckin' scum. Now you, you're a cute kid. Ya got them dinner plate eyes and little chipmunk cheeks and shit," the young woman said.

She was in her late 20's and statuesque. Her accent was Irish in origin but not heavily so. Her raven hair fell in short choppy layers grown a little over here ears, and a bit overdue for a cut. Her arms all wiry muscle that Bailey herself had never entertained possessing. She offered Bailey a cigarette before lighting her own.

"Kinda seems like a bitch move for killin' yourself," the teenager said. "If I looked like you I probably wouldn't have let the world steamroll me into takin' a dive."

"That's not the reason, don't mistake me kid. I don't give a shit about people enough to let them be the reason I'm about to fuck my world up. I'm doing it because a few months from now, life won't quite have the same quality it normally does."

"Why? Are you turning 30 or something?" The teen asked, and Jane snorted in amusement.

"If I told you the truth, and you believed me, then you'd jump. I'm trying to stop you. You'll have good enough reason to kill yourself in a month or so."

"A month is too long," said Bailey.


"There's been a disturbance in the force," the teen answered nonsensically and Jane's eyebrow shut up.

"What?" she asked.

"I'm trying to be as cryptic as you are but it's not in my nature. It came off more as unintelligible garble attempting to be a pop-culture reference." The teen moved to sit on the railing of the bridge and Jane yanked her down.

"You're a moody little emosexual aren't ya?" she asked.

"I'm emosexual. You're an over-sized Irishwoman. If you weren't suicidal you'd literally be the Jolly Green Giant." Jane sighed.

"I can guess your story," began Jane. "I notice things. It's part of what I do for a living. You stand with your ankles crossed, left arm over the stomach, that's an unnatural position. Insecure, guarded, and a hint of a bruise under the pit. He punches you where nobody can see, right?

"A bruise like that, I imagine he likes to pin you, go for the sides when you're guarding the ribs. It's what I'd do in a fight, a fair one that is."

The teen's eyes went blank. They were blue in a way Neruda might wonder over and birds might mistake for their future. But they went empty in a way that almost turned them gray and Jane wondered if she'd overstepped.

"You're not making much of a case."

"You could kill him," continued Jane, nonplussed. "Or you could just hurt him more than he ever dare hurt you. He's a coward I imagine, and will only kick those who're already down. With eyes like those I don't imagine you're completely at rock bottom."

"So you're telling me I got everything to live for when you're sitting here having schizophrenic delusions and cryptically speaking about what I'm assuming is an approaching end of the world disaster?" Jane smirked, this one was a quick witted little shit. She liked those and they were a rare form.

"It's not a delusion. Or maybe it is. You couldn't possibly know. You could kill yourself now, sure. Or you could take this meeting as a blessing and make yourself stronger, prepare yourself for what's to come. You could trust me and be in the unique position of knowing thirty days from now this world will be in flames and you can prepare. You could be one of the lucky ones," said Jane. "But me, I'm just too damn tired to survive."

"You're in your 20's. If I trust you, and what you're saying is true. Than the logical assumption is you're just a chickenshit. You won't admit that, but it's what you are. I could have a year to prepare myself and I couldn't survive shit. I am a chickenshit but at least I've got the vaginal fortitude to admit it," Bailey said. "I'd be better off jumping by that logic."

Something in that irked Jane. The odd little flame that burnt inside her didn't need to be submerged in murky waters and forgotten.

"I could stop you."

"And I'll just go home and do it." Well she had Jane there. "We could jump together," she suggested. "I don't want to have to go home and do it. I want my mom to think I just took off," she said.

"Why don't you take off!?" Jane said. "I'm not your fucking reaper, the Thelma to your Louise. If there is a God I'd rather it be that much easier to beg his forgiveness."

"I can't take off. I don't know how to take care of myself on the streets. I have like $32 dollars to my name, possibly less because I got boozed up before I came here."

"I can give you money. I'll give you everything I have and the keys to my apartment. If the world doesn't end it'd last you long enough to survive until you're on your feet. I never had much to spend my money on."

"And when the world ends?" asked Bailey, entertaining the strange woman's notions.

"Then you'll either live or die, but you might find reason for living before that happens."

"Why don't you come with me then? If you're so hell bent on my survival you should know that it's not gonna happen if the world really ends. Look at me, I look like Calista Flockhart at the height of her eating disorder. The world goes full on punk rock anarchy and I'm going to become a sex slave in a traveling caravan of creepy hillbillies that eventually turn to cannibalism."

"I could be a lunatic. You know I more than likely am," Jane warned. "The world only ends in movies and teenage fantasies."

"Well I do want to die, maybe running off with a lunatic is the fastest way to make that happen. In this scenario we'd both get what we wanted. I'm okay with that. Just one month. The world ends and we go our separate ways and you can do whatever. But if it doesn't end I'm there to pull you from crazy town. Either way I'd have a place to hole up for a month, and if I didn't have to go home that would mean a lot."

The kid was babbling and a glimpse of fear came into her eyes. Her carefully controlled features slipped into doubt. And Jane wondered if all the kid ever needed was a hand. If the sky rained fire a month from now the future wouldn't matter, and they'd likely both die. If it didn't then maybe the girl was right, and Jane could be wrenched from this madness.

"How do I know you're not my imagination?" asked Jane. "You're too much of the few qualities I like in people in one package."

"You don't, I could be a figment or something. I'm sure there's some theory in physics that supports that. I probably shouldn't say that since it's not helping my case. You could be my crazy manifesting too and we might wind up in some mental hospital imagining an apocalypse a few months around with no clue which one of us is real. I'm quite mad too you know, and you're quite a few of the things I like in people as well.

"We make a good team. What do you say? Do you want to see where this delusion takes us?" asked Bailey. Jane nodded.

The joggers passing by moved up to a sprint at the sight of the woman frantically talking to herself.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread